Dec 28, 2012 7:00pm EST
, republicans blamed president obama for the stalemate. >> i agree that it is the president's responsibility to lay out a plan and to bring people together. but it's a total dereliction of duty and candidly, a lack of courage to deal with these issues. >> reporter: what's at stake for ordinary americans? with income and payroll tax cuts set to expire monday, taxes would go up for most everyone next week. $110 billion in spending cuts will kick in. and 2 million jobless americans will lose their unemployment benefits. like karen duckett of maryland who hasn't been able to find work since being laid off as a housekeeping manager at a retirement community last year. her unemployment benefits set to end tomorrow. >> this has been the toughest year, probably, in my entire life. >> reporter: duckett, a breast cancer survivor, worries how she'll care for her 14-year-old grandson and has a message for lawmakers. >> remember, these are people. it's not just numbers on a piece of paper. we are actually human beings, suffering out here. >> reporter: and over on capitol hill tonight, nbc'
Dec 29, 2012 6:30pm EST
-minute deal. in his weekly address, president obama pushed lawmakers to act. >> we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. >> reporter: mr. obama met with top party leaders friday, calling on them to either reach a compromise or allow a vote on his plan that would among other things raise taxes on those making more than $250,000. >> i believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities as long as these leaders allow it to come to a vote. >> reporter: missouri senator roy blount delivered the republican response sharply criticizing the president's proposal. >> the president's proposal to raise taxes on the top 2% of americans won't even pay one-third of the annual interest now owed on the massive $16 trillion debt. >> reporter: in the political cliff hanger sources close to the talks say senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell are drafting a small plan that could include extending unemployment insurance benefits pro-tkting about 30 million americans from paying the alternative minimum tax and allowing tax rates to increas
Dec 31, 2012 6:30pm EST
not reward compromise. the way these deals have happened in the past, with previous presidents and previous speakers and previous leaders is a compromise is rewarded by the public. and right now, whether it's president obama, whether it was speaker boehner, the two of them couldn't find a way to get to a deal because they didn't want to look like they were ever caving. and when you get to a point where it looks like you're caving on something, then there is negative political effects. now, that's why they've brought in vice president biden, mitch mcconnell, to try to close this thing. and they may close a deal, but there's no guarantee that even any deal they come to an agreement with tonight will actually make it tomorrow. >> and chuck, this congress has, your honor telling us, the lowest approval rating ever, the least productive. what happens when the next congress comes in later this week? >> reporter: well, the bad news is, if you view this as bad news, more of the same. because even if they get this temporary deal on taxes, temporarily buy down the automatic spending cuts, wh
Dec 26, 2012 6:30pm EST
washington. but with just six days to go, homes for a last-minute deal may be fading. nbc's kristin welker is with us tonight from honolulu. kristen. >> reporter: natalie, good evening. with president obama flying home this evening, the political rhetoric has already started, with republicans urging action in the senate, and with democrats calling on republicans to put middle class families first. the president and first lady spent part of their christmas visiting troops in honolulu. >> we want to say thank you. we love you. >> reporter: but now he heads back to a snowy washington, where the last hope for a deal to avert the fiscal cliff is the senate, which returns tomorrow. majority leader harry reid is devising a partial solution that could ease economic fears. >> if we go over in a chaotic fashion, where members of congress are deeply grid locked with no sign of coming together, then we're likely to go over and stay over. and that's very problematic. >> reporter: going over the cliff would restore higher bush era tax rates and trigger deep spending cuts on january 1st. congress